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Document Details


Title: Robert L. Hawkins
Local code: OH 64
Document type: Oral history
Accessibility: Free Only
Repository: University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. Charles Babbage Institute
Collection: Charles Babbage Institute Oral History Program
Description: Hawkins discusses the computer projects he worked on at Harvard University as a technician. In 1940 he joined the Mark I project, a collaboration between Harvard and IBM. When the Mark I was placed in operation in 1943, Hawkins assumed a leading role in its maintenance. He describes the method for locating problems with the Mark I relays and identifies improvements made in the relay contacts enabling the machine to be run more reliably. He mentions project director Howard Aiken's dissatisfaction with the off-the-shelf components, counters, relays, card keys, and card punches, supplied by IBM. Hawkins also discusses the personality of Howard Aiken and his expectations of his staff.
Extent: 20 pages
URL: http://www.cbi.umn.edu/oh/pdf.phtml?id=142
Original Language: English
Time span: Not indicated ... to 1984 (Year of interview)
Speaker: Hawkins, Robert L.
Speaker gender: Male
Speaker place of birth: Antrim, NH; New Hampshire; United States; North America
Speaker occupation: Electrical engineer
Document location: Barnstable, MA
Document date: 20-Feb-1984
Interviewer: Aspray, William
Locations discussed: North America; United States
Topics discussed - ASP terms: Computer software; Electric engineering; Engineering; Information technology; North America; Oral history; Software engineering; United States
Topics discussed - Other terms: Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA)
ASP release: 2005-06
Document code: OHI0023965-25509